I remember watching my Dad on Christmas morning sitting in a big chair behind us kids, a pile of presents growing larger on the floor beside him. Whereas we'd be tearing the paper off our gifts the moment they touched our fingers, most years he wouldn't even have opened any of his by the time all the presents were handed out.
I used to think this was a ploy to tease us by having unwrapped presents to look forward to once we'd finished unveiling all ours, but now I know the truth - he just knew what he really wanted for Christmas wasn't inside any of those wrappings.
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The thing is you'll spend a lot less time giving us this particular gift than driving to the shops and searching for something else. You might even enjoy it. We're seriously doing you a favour here. Yes, it's a bit cliche, but we're far more interested in your presence than your presents.
Speaking of cliches - come Christmas morning, if you insist on us menfolk pulling something out of our stockings instead of yours, you can't go wrong with socks and jocks, right?
Well, actually, you'd be more right than wrong.
You see, blokes generally have no desire to march into Best & Less or Target and buy the damn things ourselves. These sorts of shops are devoid of alcohol, gadgets or football memorabilia, so we plain don't like them. Hell, most of us don't even know what size undies we wear. We'd end up in the middle of the Bonds section, contorting our torsos and giving ourselves a wedgie, trying to read the faded label riding just above our butt crack.
By giving us socks and jocks you're giving us more than just a few strips of fabric to house our tackle: it's the female equivalent of an afternoon at a day spa. You're giving us a frustration free Saturday afternoon unhindered by the drudgery of shopping which would have meant time away from the telly and our bar fridge. We get to relax. Thank you.
Second. Best. Present. Ever.
Tracey always buys me a shirt for Christmas in the hope I will use it to replace one of the older ones in my wardrobe. Tracey and I were married back in October 2000 and I still have a couple of the shirts we bought from a vendor on the streets of Phuket. Okay, so they're not shirts I wear out to functions anymore but they still, to Tracey's horror, make an appearance every month or so.
Unlike a woman's top, which sometimes can only be worn once or twice before being relegated to the Vinnies' bin, a man's shirt tends to go through a sort of recycling process.
After the shirt starts to fade it isn't thrown out, it's merely downgraded. For example, a faded shirt is still good for trips to the beach or going to the in-laws. Fraying might downgrade the shirt to the pajama pile, and if washing refuses to budge an odour, or a small rip appears, this means the shirt is just about perfect for yard work or fence painting.
Why do we continue to wear this tired, old shirt and steadfastly refuse to buy a new one?
Well, it's our lucky shirt.
Because after we wore it this one time you had sex with us, therefore it is already one sexual encounter luckier for us than any shirt you could possibly want us to purchase.
Which means all we've managed to do is a lap of the Christmas tree because we're back where we started, only now you've gone and spent our beer money on a shirt. And my advice is, if you want to see us wearing this new shirt more often than that hypercolour t-shirt we bought back in the early nineties, sleep with us after the very first time we put it on. In fact, sleep with us before we even get a chance to take it off. Because, you know, if do this regularly enough, by New Years we might even throw a few of our older, stinkier, holier, but now less luckier shirts out. Just saying.
But if the idea of a shirt doesn't float your boat and you still insist on using our beer money to buy us something to unwrap on Christmas morning - assuming, of course, you aren’t keen on giving us an actual carton of beer - go with something new and gadgetry because if it's one thing us guys love it's having the latest bit of 'Wow!' before our mates do.
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